Top 10: Life Lessons from Robert De Niro

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In a day and age where men don’t know how to act like men, we looked to none other than Hollywood for answers. Enter man’s man Robert De Niro, a cinematic icon who has played all types of characters (and very well, for the most part).  Here is LIB’s list of the top ten lessons learned from the timeless Bobby D.:

10. Attaboy! I got respect for this kid. He’s got a lot of fucking balls. Good for you! Don’t take no shit off nobody. – Goodfellas

deniro goodfellas

Lesson learned: Stick up for yourself! Don’t let anyone treat you like a second class citizen. Just remember your new found courage should be found when a certifiable psychopath like Joe Pesci is in the room.

9. “You see, I borrow money all over this neighborhood, left and right from everybody, I never pay them back. So, I can’t borrow no money from nobody no more, right? So who would that leave me to borrow money from but you? I borrow money from you, because you’re the only jerk-off around here who I can borrow money from without payin’ back, right?” – Mean Streets

Yeah, this movie was made in the early ‘70s but with this economic downturn, it’s apropos, no?  Get the cash from whomever you can, I guess.

deniro cape fear

8. Every man has to go through hell to reach paradise. –Cape Fear

Lesson learned: This nugget of knowledge is in the same realm of its always darkest before dawn. Cliché? Maybe?  Good advice?  Definitely.

7. “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – Wag the Dog

robert deniro wag the dog

Lesson learned:  Planning is good. Over planning is a waste of time. Plan Bs, Cs and Ds can work just as well your Plan A.

6. “I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?”  Meet the Parents

deniro meet the fockers nipples

Lesson learned: What’s a De Niro list without a shout out to the Fockers?!

5. “Dirty Harry said there’s nothing wrong with a little shooting, as long as the right people get shot.” – Righteous Kill

The message: Sound logic. It doesn’t matter how the job gets done, as long as it gets done.

4. “Be a man. Don’t be a fucking pimp. – Casino

ace rothstein casino

Moral of this encounter: Treat those close to you, especially your women, right or you will have a visit from Sam “Ace” Rothstein.

3. “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” – A Bronx Tale

a bronx tale

A timeless philosophy: Talent is a gift. Discover what yours is and learn to make a living using it.

2. “I’m gonna tell you something. Somebody messes with me, I’m gonna mess with him. Somebody steals from me, I’m gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk. Understand?” The Untouchables

The truth:
Be direct. The more blunt the better. Learn not to mince words. People will appreciate you for it.

AND THE NUMBER ONE DeNiro LIFE LESSON IS…
1. “You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.” – Goodfellas

jimmy conway goodfellas

Final lesson: Understand who your friends are and protect them. If you can’t, you might want to evaluate your definition of the term “friend.” I’m not saying lie to the cops, per se, be if it comes to that, be casually unavailable. Life is about Loyalty!

Honorable Mention: Taxi Driver’s “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? OK.”

(This was left off the top ten because nowadays, comments such this could end in riots.)

Thank you Dr Robert De Niro, PhD. For all the life lessons.

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About Author

John Milovcic

John Milovcic is a writer and photographer with LIB Magazine. He received his B.S. from Long Island University, C.W. Post, in Management and Finance. John has been a weekly contributor for LIB Magazine since February of 2013. His “man on the street” approach to covering events does bring the reader backstage with him. Under John’s belt is a completed screenplay and novel along with a range of poetry. He is the founder of Drunk Philosopher Photography and can be reached at 1drunkphilosopher@gmail.com.